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Energy Act 2008

Section 80: Third party access to oil processing facilities

416.This section sets out the process of dispute resolution for third party access to oil processing facilities. It specifies the steps that need to have been taken before the applicant can apply to the Secretary of State for directions, as well as what the Secretary of State may do if these initial steps do not enable the applicant and owner involved to reach a consensus themselves. Subsection (2) explains the extent of this provision; it applies only to oil processing facilities situated in Great Britain and the territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain (including areas of the sea designated under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964).

417.Subsections (3) and (4) require the applicant to apply to the owner of the oil processing facilities by a notice specifying the nature of the access they are seeking. This should include the period of time over which the applicant wants petroleum processed by the facility in question, the kind of petroleum to be processed at the facility, and the quantities of petroleum the applicant wants processed by the facility.

418.If the applicant and the owner cannot reach an agreement on the application, subsection (5) allows the applicant to apply to the Secretary of State for directions securing the access required (as set out in the applicant’s original notice to the owner of the oil processing facilities). Subsection (6) provides that the Secretary of State may not consider such an application unless satisfied that the parties have had a reasonable time to reach an agreement.

419.When considering an application, the Secretary of State must, according to subsection (7), decide whether the application needs to be adjourned to give the parties further time to negotiate, considered further or rejected. The applicant must then be notified of the Secretary State’s decision. If the Secretary of State decides to consider the application further, then notice must be given to the persons set out below (as set out in subsection (8)) and give them the opportunity to be heard in relation to the application:

  • the owner of the oil processing facility;

  • any person who has a right to have petroleum processed at the facility; and

  • the Health and Safety Executive.

420.Subsection (9) provides that the Secretary of State may give directions (the terms of which are set out under section 81) on an application for third party access, if satisfied that they will not prejudice:

  • the efficient operation of the oil processing facility;

  • the processing of petroleum by the facility of quantities of petroleum which the owner or an associate of the owner requires (or may be reasonably expected to require) to be processed for the purposes of their own business; or

  • the processing of petroleum by the facility by other people with a right to have their petroleum processed by the facility.

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